Fed chairman, farm bill on Congress' to-do list

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 5, 2014 at 7:06 am •  Published: January 5, 2014
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Congress' agenda for 2014 extends from must-passed legislation and nominations to several maybes in a politically charged election year.

MUST DO:

—Senate confirmation of Janet Yellen to become chairman of the Federal Reserve. A vote is scheduled for Monday and the Senate is expected to approve President Barack Obama's nominee. Yellen would be the first woman to head the Fed, replacing Ben Bernanke. His second four-year term as chairman will end Jan. 31.

—A short-term spending bill to keep the government running. The current measure ends Jan. 15. The budget bill passed last year gave House and Senate Appropriations Committees time to work on an omnibus, trillion-dollar-plus measure to run the government through September 2014.

—Raising the nation's borrowing authority, which the Treasury Department says must be resolved by late February or early March. Obama has said he won't negotiate with congressional Republicans, but the GOP is seeking concessions on spending.

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TANGLED UP, VOTES POSSIBLE:

—Renewal of the nation's farm bill, the five-year, roughly $500 billion measure. Compromise has been elusive for months as the House and Senate disagree over cuts to the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program. The House-passed bill would cut $4 billion annually; the Senate bill $400 million.

—Legislation to delay increases in flood insurance for policyholders. Sen. Mary Landerieu, D-La., and other lawmakers representing coastal states have pushed for the measure.

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